Green Buy: Black Diamond Eco Gold Loose Chalk

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Eco Gold Loose Chalk marks an interesting new direction in chalk—pure magnesium carbonate harvested as a byproduct of desalination instead of being mined. (See “The Hidden Environmental Cost of Climbing Chalk” for a look at the effects magnesite mining and the processing of magnesium carbonate—chalk—have on surrounding areas.)

Before you crush it, Eco Gold looks almost like kibble or popcorn, with an interesting, dry, styrofoam-peanut feel that at first had me wondering how it would be on the hands. Once pulverized into finer chunks or powder, however, this stuff performs—it’s high-octane, high-test chalk, and because of its thick consistency lasted a long time on my hands, with only a light application/coating.

I’ve been testing for months now, on slippery gym volumes, crimpy granite, and sharp sandstone.  Across the board, I’ve noted killer adhesion and minimal dry-firing. The stripped-down packaging—essentially a paper bag—scores high eco marks for not creating plastic waste, too.

$10 (100 g), $15 (200 g), $20 (300 g),

Trending on Climbing

Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.